The Charleston Battery announced Friday the signing of defender Avionne Flanagan to the 2022 roster via free transfer from FC Cincinnati 2, pending league and federation approval.
Flanagan, 23, comes to the Battery after spending the previous five months with FCC2 of MLS NEXT Pro. He featured in 18 matches, primarily at left-back and left midfield, registering three goals and one assist.
“I’m excited to join this historic club and give my all every time I step on the pitch,” said Flanagan. “The team and staff have been so welcoming, and I cannot wait to display my abilities and collect the results needed for the remainder of the season.
“Playing with assistant coach Chris Duvall at Cincinnati last year and having some mates from the DMV area, like Daniel Kuzemka and Brett St. Martin, brought a lot of familiarity in my transition. Thanks to these friendships, I have settled in well and I’m eager to build more relationships with the rest of the club.”
Although arriving from Cincinnati, Flanagan is not a stranger to Patriots Points after competing for the Battery on trial during the 2022 Carolina Challenge Cup, featuring in all three matches.
“We’re very happy to have Avionne in, he showed well in the preseason when he was with us, he brings a lot of speed, a lot of one-on-one ability and plenty of competitiveness,” said Head Coach Conor Casey. “With his skill set, he is quite versatile. He’s very good on both sides of the ball, defending and attacking, so he gives us some flexibility on where to position him, whether on the back line or higher up the field.”
Flanagan signed with FC Cincinnati after being selected 29th overall in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. He was subsequently loaned out to Orange County SC and FC Tulsa during that season, making 13 appearances between both teams.
Collegiately, Flanagan played three seasons at the University of South Florida from 2017 to 2019. He made 48 appearances (41 starts) with the Bulls, scoring four goals and adding seven assists. The defender earned first-team AAC All-Conference honors in 2019 following an exceptional junior campaign.
The Baltimore native’s playing career began in the D.C. United Academy through 2016. He additionally played for NPSL side FC Baltimore Christos in 2018 and USL League Two club Treasure Coast Tritons while at South Florida.
Flanagan is looking forward to making his mark on the regular season’s remaining two-and-a-half months of action.
“I’m striving to come in and make an immediate impact in whatever role the coaches give me,” said Flanagan. “In the matches and months ahead, we’re looking to prove to the fans, the league and ourselves that we have the talent to compete with any team.”
Flanagan will wear the number 27 and is available for selection for Friday’s contest against New York Red Bulls II.
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